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ZooZoo’s 15 million Likes: the Cape Town connection

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Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai’s massively successful ZooZoo campaign for Vodafone India is in its fourth year and still going strong. Vodafone’s ZooZoo Facebook page recently reached 15 million Likes, the most followers of any Indian company.

Platypus Productions has collaborated with Nirvana Films’ Cannes Gold-winning director Prakash Varma on the ZooZoos from the start, handling both the shoots and the post-production in Cape Town. “At the outset, most people thought the ads were animated, but everything was actually shot in-camera,” says Platypus’ founder Ian Chuter.

The ads went viral on YouTube, where they have over 35 000 search results and too many views to count (we reached 20m). The cult campaign has also picked up a number of awards, including two Grand Prixs at The Abby Awards and two Golds at The Asia Marketing Effectiveness Awards.


For the most recent campaign, Ogilvy introduced an army of mini-Zoozoos, who were all animated, and who interacted with the original Zoozoo characters, who were shot live with real sets and props. Platypus worked closely with top Indian animator Vaibhav Kumaresh, as well as members of the Oscar-winning team of visual effects artists from Life of Pi. “We had to plan everything in perfect detail, since the live action was only one element of the choreography of the commercials. It was a real eye-opener to work with people of this calibre and a great experience collaborating so smoothly across continents,” says Ian.

Platypus represents Varma in South Africa. “Varma’s been coming to South Africa to shoot for over a decade,” says Ian. “Nirvana is India’s top production company and Varma’s one of the top directors in the world, so we’re delighted to be able to offer him to local agencies.”

Varma recently shot the hit Magic of Frooti commercial starring Indian superstar Shahrukh Khan, who The Los Angeles Times once called “the world’s biggest movie star.”

 

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